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The Bleacher Bums: May 3, 2006 Archive

Well that sure is an interesting twist

Posted at 8:52 AM on May 3, 2006 by Ben Tesch (2 Comments)

Yesterday the stadium bill gets sent to the Senate Rules Committee, and comes back a completely different beast altogether. Now the tax is metro-wide (and we all know Pawlenty's feelings on taxes), there are transportation projects included, and there are now two stadiums involved — and both have retractable roofs. Wha?

Mike Mulcahy has more on the issue, and Nikki Tundel talked with PiPress reporter Aron Kahn about the state of the stadium and the history of the Twins' fight for a new home.

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The art of the euphemism

Posted at 12:22 PM on May 3, 2006 by Ben Tesch

John Brattain cuts no corners deciphering various baseball clichés.

When they say: "This is not a save situation" what they mean is: "The game is on the line but they're holding back their best reliever in case they’ve got a three-run lead in the ninth."

When they say: "It’s not a level playing field" what they mean is: "We traded our best young talent for over the hill veterans, our general manager gutted our minor leagues for a 38-year-old 'proven closer', our fans are smart enough to see we haven't got a clue and stay away, and we're blaming the Yankees so folks won't realize we're incompetent."

Might as well get this out there, just in case, you know

Posted at 3:46 PM on May 3, 2006 by Ben Tesch (2 Comments)

Relocation? Your Team's Not Going Anywhere

The threat of relocation has been used by clubs and politicians before and will probably be used in the future. But are there really any realistic relocation candidates at this time? When the Expos were relocated to D.C. and renamed the Nationals, would MLB really have pulled up the team after a year playing in their new home if a sweetheart stadium deal didn't come through, given the club was going to be sold for $450 million? Can not only the Royals, but the Marlins, Twins, and A’s use this mantra, “Pay up, or we’ll be forced to look at other options,” to good effect? Can they pack up and go to Portland, San Antonio, Norfolk, Charlotte, or Vegas at this time?

The answer is pretty much no, and here’s why.

It's a very good article. In particular, the part about the other options where a team would move to is very interesting, where they look at television territories and population. The MLB broadcast areas map is amazing.

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Justin Morneau: "I'll be all right"

Posted at 9:35 PM on May 3, 2006 by David Zingler (5 Comments)

morneau-06.jpg

Coming off a disappointing season and in the midst of a lackluster start to this one, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is keeping a level head, "(The season) isn't going the way I'd like, I got off to a tough start. I've felt better the last couple of days, been working hard and I still have my confidence. If I stay consistent, I should be all right."

Although his batting average of .214 is dismal and his on-base-percentage of .275 would only be a respectable batting average, Morneau is leading the Twins with 6 homeruns and 16 RBI. Despite the fact his power numbers are solid at this point, many fans have been waiting for the big Canadian to heat up and go on a prolonged power binge. Don't think it hasn't crossed his mind as well.

"In Tampa last (May)," the soon-to-be 25-year-old responded when asked about the last time he was in a groove. "It's been frustrating, but it's starting to come back now. The last couple of days I've felt good. I haven't had any 'A' games, but I've managed to get a hit here and there. It's one of those things where sometimes when I start feeling good, I swing at too many pitches -- I feel so good and am seeing the ball so well that I can get myself out."

In his young career, Morneau has found the tight rope between being too aggressive and too patient -- a delicate balancing act for any power hitter -- tough to navigate. Falling behind early in the count, in particular has been a problem.

"It happens, sometimes you're 0-2, sometimes you're up 2-0," he said, brushing off the idea that he has fallen into a pattern. "I don't know -- I don't really think about it too much, I haven't really looked at it. Obviously it's easier to hit when you are ahead in the count, but I try to stay aggressive and sometimes that gets me in trouble. I'd rather be aggressive than missing pitches I should be hitting."

"(I need to work on) consistency, not giving away at bats," the British Columbia native continued. "It's one of those things where you have to keep it simple and not try to do too much. I am just trying to be consistent with my at bats, my approach and I will be all right."

Late last season Morneau, like virtually all Twins fans, openly discussed his desire for a mentor; a veteran power that could help his development. This year however, he seems resigned to the fact that he is going to have to learn on his own.

"It's just one of those things that I have to learn by myself," the budding slugger commented. "Everybody hits a different way, I mean no one can really hit like Tony (Batista). He's a new guy I can watch -- he always has a plan. He goes up there looking for his pitch -- you can learn from that stuff. It's one of those things...that will come with time, I am not really too worried about it though."

Although he seems confident, many Twins fans have begun to voice some concern, not only about him, but also about the team's season slipping away. According to Morneau however, there's no need to panic, "We have a good team, we are capable of winning," he explained. "We just dug ourselves a little hole, but I think we?ll be all right."

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